2013 New England Spring Retreat - Coastal/Marine Spatial Planning - From Policy to Practice: Competition, or Coexistence?

Friday, April 5, 2013 (All day) - Sunday, April 7, 2013 (All day)



SEA Education Association, Woods Hole, MA

Read Lissa Widoff's post summarizing this event.

Competition for ocean resources continues to expand, with wind energy, aquaculture, fishing, recreational boating, and conservation of ecosystem services the subject of increasing controversy in New England and nationally. While there is growing interest in ecosystem-based and adaptive management and stakeholder participation in the science and policy dimensions of these issues, real on-the ground management that effectively balances competing interests, sustains resources and protects important ecological values has been difficult to achieve. This retreat will focus on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) in the context of resource use and ecosystem management. We will highlight several new projects, policies and programs in New England that can serve as models for effective management while offering an opportunity to address the policy debates and constraints for implementation.

The annual Switzer Foundation New England Spring Study Retreat is an opportunity to engage scientists, policy-makers, faculty, graduate students and environmental practitioners in a one-day seminar on Saturday April 6th, with a networking event Friday evening and an additional hands-on workshop Sunday morning for grad students and practitioners engaged in collaborative research and multi-stakeholder efforts. We are fortunate to have a complete slate of policy leaders, active professionals and stakeholder representatives to join us for the day-long session. The weekend will create informal opportunities for exchange, dialogue and the potential for new collaborations.

VENUE:  We will use the campus of SEA Education Association in Woods Hole, MA, as our base.  Overnight accommodations (shared cabins) will be available on campus.

COST:  We will ask all participants to pay a $25 registration fee, and for those needing overnight accommodations there will be a $50 charge for lodging on the SEA Campus.   

REGISTRATION:  Deadline:  March 8, 2013.  Attendance for this event is currently at capacity.  If you are interested in attending, please contact Erin Lloyd, Program Officer.  We do have a waiting list in case of cancellations.


Friday, April 5, 2013

5:00 pm Out of town travelers arrive at SEA Education Campus, Woods Hole

6:00 pm Dinner in Woods Hole, and roundtable exchange for participants - identify shared research and project interests in coastal and marine issues

Saturday, April 6, 2013

9 - 10 am National and Regional perspectives - Marine Spatial Planning in context.  In this session, speakers will present an overview of National Ocean Policy, and we will hear from representatives of the Northeast Regional Ocean Council to address the questions of what has driven national interest in ocean planning, and what outcomes are expected from regional efforts.


 Betsy Nicholson, NOAA Regional Coastal Program Specialist, Regional Planning Body Federal Co-Lead

 John Weber, Ocean Planning Director, Northeast Regional Ocean Council

10 - Noon Case Studies of State Ocean Plans - from policy process to implementation.  

 Moderator: Robbin Peach, Executive Director, Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security, UMass Boston

MA Ocean Plan - John Weber, Ocean Planning Director, Northeast Regional Ocean Council, and former Ocean Program Manager, MA Coastal Zone Management
RI Special Area Management Plan - Grover Fugate, Executive Director, RI Coastal Resources Management Council
What were the motivations that drove the ocean planning process?
What issues were included/excluded in the planning effort, and why?  (e.g., fisheries, wind siting)
What stakeholders are involved, and how are they engaged?  How are conflicts handled?
  What actions are expected from the plans?
How is ecological protection/restoration balanced against the economic potential of certain kinds of development?
What are the strategies, challenges, and lessons learned in the implementation of the plans?
What is the ongoing role of the public, NGOs, scientists/academia?

  • 12 - 1 pm Lunch

1-2:30 pm Marine Spatial Planning: Bridging the gap between theory and practice - science, policy, and management

Nick Napoli, Ocean Planning Project Manager, Northeast Regional Ocean Council:  What kinds of science and information support ocean planning? What challenges are associated with each? How are stakeholders are involved in the collection of that information? What additional research or information is necessary? How is scientific information being used?
Les Kaufman, Professor of Biology, Boston University:  Evaluating trade-offs in MSP, modeling trade-offs of competing uses in marine spatial planning, how might this be useful, what are some examples of how economic and intrinsic values are modeled, what are some different approaches?
Sandra Whitehouse, Senior Advisor, Ocean Conservancy:  Challenges to implementation, big dreams and funding realities; how will ocean planning efforts be funded? What are the challenges in tight fiscal climate?

2:45 - 4:45 pm Stakeholder perspectives in Marine Spatial Planning implementation

Moderator:   Jennifer McCann, URI Coastal Resources Center, Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program

John Pappalardo, Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen's Association: fishermen's perspective and engagement
Mark Rodgers, Cape Wind - wind energy development perspective
Priscilla Brooks, Conservation Law Foundation - Conservation interests
Dave Wiley - marine protected areas/ marine mammals (existing MPA) - How do existing protected areas (Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary) dovetail with ocean planning? what is the role of protected areas and conservation (habitat, species) in marine spatial planning?
Heather McElroy, Natural Resources Specialist, Cape Cod Commission - Cape Cod Ocean Management Plan

In this session, speakers will address the following questions:

What lessons have been learned from the facilitation processes in these ocean plans?
How have stakeholders engaged with MSP/Ocean Planning?
What are stakeholder concerns?
What has worked well, what are the challenges?
What do different stakeholder groups want to get out of state/regional planning?
How can habitat conservation priorities be addressed - ecologically important areas and species protection - Why is this so hard to do? Do species and habitats matter?

4:45 -5:00 pm  Wrap up

6 -8 pm Dinner on your own, or with Switzer Fellows, in Woods Hole (location TBD)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

9 - 11 am Brunch, debrief, and workshop:  Skills for bridging science and policy - how can Switzer Fellows and emerging leaders effectively engage in science and policy in multi-stakeholder settings?

David Wiley, Research Coordinator, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and 1999 Switzer Fellow (confirmed).  [See David's recent TEDx talk!].  

Environmental problem-solving in the 21st century has moved away from a more technical centered approach and in a modern context is increasingly viewed as deliberative and participatory, characterized by multi-stakeholder processes such as those convened to inform Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning decisions.  Information provided to stakeholders for decision-making contains both social and technical components.  Traditionally scientists have focused on the technical aspects of problem-solving and counted on confidence in the scientific process to eliminate social concerns.  However, social aspects of research are a high-order concern and invariably used by stakeholders to invalidate information that is counter to their preconceptions or desires.  This talk will explore how scientists can produce information with increased social power, thereby proving influential in a policy context.  This interactive workshop will be an opportunity for participants to discuss how their own research or applied efforts could benefit from these findings and share strategies and challenges in a real-world context.

11-Noon Site visit or outdoor activity - TBD

Noon Depart


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